I’ve heard all kinds of ideas about what it takes to be a leader.
Things like “Oh, I am an introvert. I’m not born to be a leader.” Or “I don’t want to draw all the attention.”
I use to think you have to be an alpha type to be a leader, maybe even intimidating or loud.
Yes, you can be outgoing and charming, like Bill Clinton.
Then we see introvert leaders like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, I noticed that people will pay attention to them even when they are quiet. They don’t need to be loud to be heard.
Comparing what great leaders have in common, I found that leadership is a collection of skills. And it’s something that you can learn by practicing.
Back in college, I was socially awkward. When I talked to people (strangers or not), I blushed so bad.
Since then, I’ve met many wonderful people, from authors to artists, from Inc. 500 CEOs to Fortune 500 VPs.
I am not saying this to brag, but simply to state the fact that social skills can be learned by studying what successful people do, and figuring out how to apply it.
The same applies to leadership skills. So today I want to show you 2 simple tactics you can use to improve your leadership skills without being a jerk.
Tactic #1: Do Your Homework
One thing I like talking about is doing your homework. It is about being ready to add value when you start talking. Just take 5-10 minutes to prepare beforehand.
Ask yourself “How can I start a conversation?”
It’s awkward when you try to make a small talk but don’t know where to start.
The benefit of making“do your homework” a habit is that you don’t need to depend on other people to start a conversation.
Tactic #2: Apply The 80/20 Rule
I assume you’re familiar with the 80/20 rule: 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of your inputs. When applied to leadership, 80% of authority comes from 20% of your interactions.
Think about this. How many times have you had this conversation with your partner/friends/family:
Person A: “What do you want to do this weekend?”
Person B: “I don’t know. What about you?”
Person A: “I don’t know either.”
Then this can go on for 20 minutes.
This has happened to me a million times…And it has nothing to do with what we do.
This kind of moment can be used to establish your leadership role.
Being a leader is not about controlling or manipulating. In this case, it can be as simple as making a suggestion without being pushy.
What if you don’t know what to say without being pushy?
In my next post, I will share the actual script you can use.